I think it’s safe to say sous vide is best known for two things: steak and egg bites. Egg bites thanks to Starbucks, and steak because it’s well-earned! There’s nothing like a sous vide steak. In fact, by this point, I think I can make a better steak at home than what I get at most restaurants.

But even within the realm of steak, some cuts are better than others when it comes to sous vide. That’s not to say that any cut won’t be delicious when you sous vide it.

Sliced sous vide flank steak on a wood cutting board with a bowl of herby salt.

Which cuts are best for sous vide?

The best steaks for sous vide are leaner cuts. Why, you ask?

  • Fat renders better when in contact with high heat. This doesn’t matter so much with light marbling or even a fat cap (easy to sear or broil after sous viding), but with thick fat marbling, it can be a little tricky.
  • A huge benefit to sous vide is that you can tenderize meat without overcooking it. Leaner, tougher cuts really benefit from this.

Here are some examples of my favorite lean steak sous vide recipes:

Sliced tri-tip and bowl of blue cheese butter on wood cutting board

How to Sous Vide Tri-Tip Steak Perfectly

5 from 3 reviews
Learn how to transform a cut of steak like tri-tip into a tender, perfectly cooked meal using sous vide. Sous vide tri-tip time and temperature tips included!
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Orange Marinated Sous Vide Strip Steak from A Duck's Oven

Orange Marinated Sous Vide Strip Steak

5 from 2 reviews
New York Strip Steak marinated in a soy and orange-based marinade, then cooked sous vide and seared before serving. Delicious and simple!
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Sous Vide Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Gravy

I love all sous vide steak, but one of my favorite cuts is sous vide filet mignon! Pull out your immersion circulator: sous vide is the perfect cooking method for this delicate cut of beef. Way more affordable than dining out, this sous vide filet mignon is even better than what you’ll order at a restaurant when paired with my blue cheese gravy!
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Sliced sous vide flank steak on a wood cutting board with a bowl of herby salt.

Herb Crusted Sous Vide Flank Steak

5 from 3 reviews
Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts to sous vide. This lean, sometimes a little on the tough side steak benefits from a low and slow cook and a hot sear. I love to do an herby salt to season this steak, but a marinade is also a great way to go.
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Time and Temperature for Lean Steak

If a steak is on the thinner side, you can sous vide it for as short as 1 hour but… I wouldn’t. Remember earlier when I said that tougher, lean steaks are great for sous vide because you can tenderize them without overcooking them? Given that, I recommend a minimum cook time of 2 hours.

The below times and temps will work with any lean cut of steak. For thicker steaks, go for the long end of the time spectrum.

ResultTemperatureTime
Rare124-128 degrees F2-3 hours
Medium Rare129-134 degrees F2-4 hours
Medium135-140 degrees F2-4 hours
Well Done141-150 degrees F2-4 hours

My personal favorite? 128 degrees F for 2-3 hours. I like a lean steak to be on the rare side and since there’s not much fat, I’m not risking chewiness.